Keep credit scores in mind when shopping for new cards

When looking around for new credit options, consumers should keep in mind their credit scores play an important role when applying for new credit cards.

In a recent column for the Los Angeles Times, Kathy Kristof noted that many consumers may be in the market for a new card given how some companies are treating their credit card debt. However, consumers will need a good credit score if they plan on getting a new card.

“And because applying for credit can hurt your score, you don’t want to apply randomly,” Kristof said. “Indeed, several experts now suggest that consumers get their credit scores before shopping.”

Having their credit score in hand can help consumers determine whether they will be looked at positively by credit card companies. If consumers find their credit scores aren’t up to snuff, they may consider going to a credit counseling service in order to negotiate better rates, which will help them pay off their existing debt.

However, doing so may hurt a consumer’s credit score, Kristof noted.

Along with negotiating lower rates, credit counselors can help people set up a debt management plan, which can help them pay off their credit card debts.